Green Bay Packers April Scouting Report
First a quick agency review. Packer Free Agents signed by another team: WR Randall Cobb (Cowboys), ILB Jake Ryan (Jaguars), OLB Clay Matthews (Rams), CB Bashaud Breeland (Chiefs), and S Kentrell Brice (Buccaneers). Packers released and not yet signed by another team: CB Devon House – he was a free agent but the Packers made it clear they have no interest; ILB Antonio Morrison – apparently release because of an altercation on an airliner with a flight attendant and was removed from the plane; and ILB Nick Perry – injuries caused him to miss too much time.
Apparently all the Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA) have or will sign their tenders – they are still on the team roster. Restricted Free Agent (RFA) WR Geronimo Allison was also re-signed. Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) I think the Packers might have some interest in re-signing include; DL Muhammad Wilkerson and S Ibraham Campbell.
Players the Packers have signed in free agency: Washington OLB Preston Smith, Ravens OLB Za’Darius Smith, Broncos OL Billy Turner, Bears S Adrian Amos, and their own TE Mercedes Lewis. The Packers have addressed needs at outside linebacker, safety, and offensive line. They could still use help at safety and offensive line – but they have their main guy there.
Now for a look at the Packers positional draft needs. At quarterback I believe the Packers are set. LaFleur seems content with QB Aaron Rodgers, QB DeShone Kizer, and QB Tim Boyle for now. If they add a "camp arm" I think it will be as an undrafted free agent. If QB Gardner Minshew goes undrafted I think he would be some good competition. Although smaller in stature he plays a lot like Rodgers.
At running back, some have the Packers adding one. I think it will come down to what they think of RB Kapri Bibbs who is a little known clone of RB Aaron Jones. The Packers also have other camp help on the roster at this position. If they did add one my vote goes for one of these three; RB David Montgomery from ISU, RB Darrell Henderson from Memphis, or RB Devin Singletary from FAU.
At fullback the Packers have two on the roster. I don’t anticipate another one at this position either. However, either FB Alec Ingold of WI or FB Trevon Wesco of West VA would do nicely late in the draft.
At tight end the Packers have four on the roster. They are; TE Jimmy Graham, TE Mercedes Lewis, TE Robert Tonyan, and TE Evan Baylis. The first three they have had nothing but good things to say about. The Packers are bringing in players at this position for visits and show interest at pro days. So I think there will be at least one draft pick at this position and it has the possibility of being a high pick. There has been no public interest on the part of Green Bay for TE Lance Kendricks – and that is another clue. My main guy here is TE TJ Hockenson from Iowa. I think he is the most complete tight end in this draft and could step in for Graham as the main guy. If he is there at number 12 I would not be surprised if Green Bay took him.
Wide receiver will be interesting to watch on draft day. The Packers have WR Davante Adams and WR Geronimo Allison ready to go. Allison better stay healthy this year because WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling and WR Equanimeous St. Brown will be ready to step in given all the experience and force feeding with Rodgers last year. WR Jake Kumerow should contribute well when he gets his chance. So that is five roster spots. What is left on the roster is WR Trevor Davis who spent last year on injured reserve, WR J’mon Moore who the Packers are saying good things about but has yet to do well in a game, WR Allen Lazard and WR Teo Redding who were added during the off season. So with WR Randall Cobb now gone the apparent lack of depth after the fifth guy there appears to be some room to add a player or two. A true slot receiver might be a need that WR Andy Isabella of UMASS or WR Marquise Brown of OK could fill. If they want a typical Packer receiver then I would vote for WR AJ Brown of MS or WR Preston Williams of CSU.
For the offensive line I will only say that they will draft at least one with a strong possibility of two. They could use a multi-positional guy and a tackle. So guys like OL Dalton Risner from Kansas State, OL Eric McCoy from Texas A&M, or OL Michael Jordan from OSU would work. On the defensive side of the ball, more picks may be taken.
At defensive line I don’t think any picks will be made. There is a deep class if the Packers would want to add a guy. At outside linebacker one may be drafted for depth. The two starting free agents have minimized the need here. But another guy who can complement OLB Kyler Fackrell would be some good insurance against injuries. Draft prospects like OLB Brian Burns from FSU, OLB Jaylon Ferguson from LA Tech, or OLB D’Andre Walker from GA could be available where the Packers might have a chance at them. At inside linebacker one will be drafted and it might be to get a potential starter who can cover in the short area. ILB Oren Burks could be that guy, but we don’t know right now. The other starter, ILB Blake Martinez, has his slot nailed down. ILB James Crawford could get some time at linebacker but he isn’t a sure thing either. I know everyone is drooling over LB Devin White from LSU and the versatile LB Josh Allen from KY but neither are likely to be there when the Packers get to pick, but LB Germaine Pratt from NC State and LB Anfernee Jennings from Alabama could be there in the middle rounds. In the defensive backfield the Packers need to decide if DB Josh Jackson is a corner or a safety. I think that is one of the key to getting things right. The other is to decide if S Josh Jones even belongs on the team. If Jackson is a safety then the Packers need two picks at cornerback. And if Jackson can play with Amos then the starters will be determined but there will still be two picks for safety depth. Corners like CB Byron Murphy from WA, CB Julian Love from ND, or CB Joejuan Williams from Vanderbilt might be good additions. And safeties like S Nasir Adderley (related to former Packer cornerback Herb Adderley), S Isaiah Simmons from Clemson, S Mike Bell from Fresno State, and S Malik Grant from Marshall could add some depth. The Packers go into the draft this year with ten picks. I have identified 4 likely offensive picks and 6 likely defensive picks.
The draft is only 23 days away. Don’t leave your food preparation until the last minute. Frustration munching requires more food than happy and satisfied munching so be sure you have enough. We will reconvene next month to try and determine if we should be happy or sad with the results of the draft. Until then ……….
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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